Behold the Power of Productivity

10061396Penny pinchers make every cent count. So do productivity pros – but their currency is time.

If you want to work smarter and faster, don’t waste another second! An story reveals 11 things ultra-productive people do differently.

Among the techniques (if you kick off your mornings by “eating a frog,” you’re on the right track):

• They Get Ready for Tomorrow Before They Leave the Office
Productive people end each day by preparing for the next. This practice accomplishes two things: It helps you solidify what you’ve accomplished today, and it ensures you’ll have a productive tomorrow. It only takes a few minutes and it’s a great way to end your workday.
“For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned.” – Benjamin Franklin
They Eat Frog
“Eating a frog” is the best antidote for procrastination, and ultra-productive people start each morning with this tasty treat. In other words, they do the least appetizing, most dreaded item on their to-do list before they do anything else. After that, they’re freed up to tackle the stuff that excites and inspires them.
They Go Off The Grid
Don’t be afraid to go off grid when you need to. Give one trusted person a number to call in case of emergency, and let that person be your filter. Everything has to go through them, and anything they don’t clear has to wait. This strategy is a bulletproof way to complete high-priority projects.

“One man gets only a week’s value out of a year while another man gets a full year’s value out of a week.” – Charles Richards

Good tips. Good intentions. Good luck!

Ditching Paper Files for Digital May be the Way to Go

It’s not a pretty sight.

Your colleague is frantically searching through piles of papers for an important business document. Manila folders and their contents are soaring through the air. An hour later, he’s still rummaging away, wasting valuable time that should have been spent on a long to-do list.

A recent survey says this scenario is all too common.

More than 50% of respondents acknowledged the need to improve how they manage business information. The majority lamented the extensive amount of time they devote to current practices as well as the large volume of storage space needed.

Other interesting tidbits:

  • Thirty-plus percent of respondents said that it takes up to four weeks to get paper-based business documents filed.
  • Forty percent estimated spending between eight to 12 hours per month filing current business documents and business-related paper.
  • Thirty-three percent of respondents said it takes up to one hour to find and retrieve a file from paper storage.
  • Sixty percent of those who utilize filing cabinets and/or paper storage said up to 15% of their office or work space is currently occupied by filing cabinets.
  • Twenty-one percent of respondents still keep between 11 and 30 boxes of archived paper in less accessible document storage areas.

Keep it Lean

It seems EFFICIENCY may be the name of the game in 2011. Businesses are running lean at the moment, and looking to get the most out of their new structures. An e-mail release from Robert Half Technology explains the top IT jobs in the coming year will be geared around streamlining efforts.

Finding a job may be high on many professionals’ list of New Year’s Resolutions. To narrow the search for those in the IT industry, Robert Half Technology has identified the hottest IT positions for 2011.  Among them:

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Technical Developer – Base compensation for these professionals is projected to increase 5.2 percent next year. ERP enables organizations of all sizes to improve efficiency and cut costs. Since no two companies are alike, developers are in steady demand to customize software according to specific organizational needs.
Business Intelligence Analyst – Average starting salaries for business intelligence analysts will rise 5 percent. Companies need analysts who can guide decision-making processes in a constantly changing business environment, and help reduce costs and better evaluate internal and external clients.
Data Modeler – As firms analyze more complex data and create custom applications, they require skilled modelers who can design methods for handling, processing and evaluating material. Data modelers can expect base compensation to rise 4.5 percent over 2010 levels.

The common thread among these jobs is that they help businesses improve efficiency and profits, and foster a more positive customer experience.

Indy Star: Statehouse Needs Push Toward Government Efficiency

Current economic realities make it even more compelling to overcome the political resistance against making needed changes regarding how communities deliver local government services in the most efficient way. Today’s Indianapolis Star editorial discusses some encouraging leadership around Indiana countered by, in the Statehouse, the reality of partisan politics. Please take a moment to call, write or e-mail your legislators and let them know that you want them to support meaningful efficiency and change with township government during this session.

Find your elected officials here.

Government Inefficiency: Wall Remains in Place

Two excerpts of Wednesday stories that taken together simply leave your head shaking.

First, from an Indiana Chamber release the day after its Letters to Our Leaders project debuted with an initial focus on local government efficiency:

Last winter, the first responders on the scene of a van in a Hamilton County retention pond weren’t a critically needed dive team. Instead, it reportedly took three 911 calls for that emergency crew to arrive. Tragically, four people lost their lives when public safety improvements might have made all the difference.

The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette was one of many media outlets covering the campaign to place a focus on important public policy issues. A separate story in the same newspaper about opposition to a plan to merge city, county and the nearby New Haven emergency call centers included the following:

The issue of merged 911 centers has been an ongoing discussion for years between Fort Wayne and Allen County, as the two call centers are housed in the same room of the City-County Building basement separated by a glass wall. Councilman Tim Pape, D-5th, said the issue has been the most frustrating topic for him. … He said even if there were no cost savings, having a unified dispatch center makes sense because it improves safety.

The Chamber’s local government efficiency letter and below is the video; the story from Fort Wayne.